George Knight & Sons Sliding Box Camera

George Knight & Sons Sliding Box Camera

Current location:

Collection Storage Facility


This camera was made in England by George Knight & Sons around 1850. It was brought to Canada between 1870 and 1910, but it is not known to what it extent it was used here. It was purchased by the Museum in 1975.

Technical history:

This is a “sliding box” camera, a design invented by Louis Daguerre around 1839. The camera consists of two boxes, one sliding within the other. The front box contains the lens, while the rear box holds the photosensitive plate. The photographer focused the image by sliding the rear box back and forth. This was the standard pattern for cameras of the 1840s and 1850s, after which bellows cameras gradually became more popular.


Built around 1850, this camera appeared at a time of transition between daguerreotype technology and the wet collodion process introduced in 1851. The camera could be used for either technique, as well as for the dry plate process introduced in the 1870s.

Canada Science and Technology Museum
Artifact No.
George Knight & Sons
Manufacturer Location
London, England
Manufacture Date
Circa 1850
Acquisition Date